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How to Keep Your Passion for Business Burning Bright
June 13, 2016 | By Neil Ducoff | 1 Comment
Owning a salon/spa business can be an emotional roller-coaster ride with plenty of incredible highs…and crushing lows.
It’s a service business with non-stop interaction with the clients… …some that can be very demanding.
Leading and managing stylists, estheticians, massage therapists, nail techs, assistants and guest services staff can often feel like herding cats. Just when you think everyone is heading in the right direction … they scatter.
Delivering the best customer experiences and services requires constant training and continuous refinement of your operating systems.
And then there are the financial demands of the business to drive revenues and manage expenses:
- Making sure cash flow keeps flowing
- Payroll is covered
- Bills are paid
- Loan payments are current.
For most owners, that initial vision of opening a salon or spa didn’t include all the tough stuff that comes with business ownership. That tough stuff can really chip away at your passion and drive you to the point of becoming stressed and overwhelmed.
Here are six No-Compromise Leadership thoughts on how to maintain your passion for business:
- The confidence factor: I believe that putting myself into situations that will challenge my abilities is the single best personal growth strategy. I became an accomplished public speaker because I sought out every opportunity to test my ability to deliver meaningful content in a way that people could relate to and understand. I was confident that I could do it … but I had to work seriously hard at it to get good at it. I wrote three books … one was an award winner. I was confident I could write, but writing a great book is hard work. I started Strategies over 22 years ago. I was confident I could build a great business … but it was far from easy. There were setbacks and some tough times to work through. Confidence is simply believing in yourself and never allowing that belief to falter. Even in the worst of times, it’s your confidence in your own abilities that will see you through. Lose your self-confidence and your passion goes with it.
- The knowledge factor: There is truth in the statement, “Knowledge is power.” There is always more to learn. There is always a new thought or idea that can change everything. Owning and leading a business is a perpetual learning experience. Owners that choose to limit their expansion of knowledge eventually discover that the tools in the leadership toolbox are no longer effective. Things stop working. Employees see the stagnation and seek out other opportunities. Passion requires the fuel of knowledge. Knowledge stimulates the mind to innovate. When combined, passion and knowledge create a new world of opportunity. Seek out knowledge and your passion will always burn bright.
- The tenacity factor: Tenacity gets you out of bed. Tenacity pushes you to do better. Tenacity is what keeps you working a problem until it is solved. Tenacity keeps you going when the going gets tough. Tenacity doesn’t know about quitting or that you can throw in the towel when things get uncomfortable. Tenacity is about working hard until you accomplish what you set out to do. Tenacity is about commitment, accountability, being the best and getting the work done. Tenacity thrives on passion because passion is what you believe in and stand for. When passion fades, there is nothing to be tenacious about. If your tenacity factor is feeling a little weak, it’s time to revisit and redefine what you are truly passionate about.
- The “shit happens” factor: Employees will quit. Trust will be broken. Bad decisions will be made. Procedures and systems won’t be followed. You will have a cash crisis. Stress will consume you. You know what? Shit happens. And the longer you stand in it the stinkier it gets. And the longer you play the blame game, the longer you keep standing in it. As the owner and leader, it’s your choice to stand in it or start cleaning it up. There is a reason that shit happens. Find that reason, fix it and get moving. Remember, quick fixes are like duct tape and band aides. Seek out long-term fixes. They may be harder fixes to make … but long-term fixes always eliminate a lot of the stuff that caused the problems in the first place. Passion gives you the courage to make tough decisions.
- The overwhelmed factor: Ownership and leadership is hard work. Employee challenges, cash-flow problems and a host of other issues can overwhelm you. When feelings of being overwhelmed weigh you down, it’s a flashing-red warning sign to stop and assess what’s on your plate and what keeps coming at you. Sometimes the solution is simply asking employees for help. You’d be amazed how quickly you can delegate all that non-essential stuff that didn’t need to be on your plate in the first place. Pick the two or three most important tasks or issues you need to address, prioritize them … then work them through to completion. Too often, feelings of being overwhelmed result from procrastination and a reluctance to let go of some control. FACT: Being overwhelmed is like throwing ice water on your passion.
- The perspective factor: This one is simple. Keeping your perspective on where you and your business are at … combined with realistic expectations … is the best strategy to maintaining your passion. Perspective allows you to see problems and solutions more clearly. Perspective makes you more strategic in your decision-making. Perspective keeps your passion properly fueled and glowing just right. It’s when your perspective becomes distorted, through denial and avoidance of real issues, that it wrecks your passion.
Here’s my challenge to you: Set aside a few hours to get a read on your current level of passion. Use the above points to benchmark what you need to work on to rekindle your passion.
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